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24th January 2024

Northern Ireland Opera and the Grand Opera House present two exciting new productions at The Studio Theatre

In February, Northern Ireland’s national opera company will be launching two very different chamber opera productions in the intimate setting of the Grand Opera House’s Studio, ‘Cupid’s Bow’ and ‘The Juniper Tree’.

From 14-17 February, audiences can experience a new production directed by NI Opera’s Artistic Director and CEO, Cameron Menzies. Audiences will enter The Studio of the Grand Opera House where they will see the stage transformed into a glamorous cocktail bar called ‘Cupid’s Bow’, run by the ever-positive Cupid, the god of love, desire and attraction. This bar is where some of opera’s most recognizable, famous and infamous characters come to unwind and share their stories and sing of falling in love, looking for love and falling out of love.

Operatic legends will include the Countess from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, who over a dry martini tells us of her loveless marriage before performing the stunning ‘Dove Sono’…  Watch Escamillo from ‘Carmen’, the greatest show pony of all time, trying to attract his valentine by taking over the cocktail bar with his karaoke version of ‘The Toreador Song’, while sitting tearily over his stale pale ale. See Nemorino from ‘The Elixir of Love’ pinning for his love Adina, singing ‘Una Furtiva Lagrima’, with many more fabulous heroes, heroines, crones and clowns who bring to life arias, duets, trios and ensembles from some of the most loved operas.

This 90-minute fun-filled pastiche production will take you on a romantic and humorous adventure through comedy, tragedy, love, loss and survival as only opera can. The Theatre’s intimate 120-seat Studio space makes the perfect night out for Valentine’s Week and is guaranteed to be enjoyed by audiences new and old.

From 21-24 February, NI Opera presents a new production of ‘The Juniper Tree’ by American composers Philip Glass and Robert Moran with libretto by Arthur Yorinks. Based on a Grimm’s fairytale, ‘The Juniper Tree’ is a gripping story of family, vengeance and, ultimately, redemption. Sung in English, this opera was composed as a joint enterprise between Philip Glass and Robert Moran, who wrote alternate scenes throughout the opera, creating a remarkably dark, moving and evocative work. This 90-minute chamber opera will appeal to fans of contemporary opera as well as new audiences. NI Opera’s production will be performed by some of Northern Ireland’s emerging opera singers who have been working with the national opera company in their prestigious artist development programmes.

CEO of NI Opera and Director of both productions, Cameron Menzies, comments: “To be able to present these two very different pieces within the intimacy of The Studio theatre of the Grand Opera House is very special. These two chamber sized projects are both designed to showcase the exceptional talents of our NI artists. The singers that appear in both productions have been working with the company mostly through the Chorus Development Programme and through our Artist Development Programme, gaining paid real-time experience in rehearsal and coaching rooms. The emerging artists that will be bringing these two productions to life are working both on the stage and behind the scenes within their chosen fields. This unique programme allows the company to help our artists build on the skills required to work on a professional stage and focuses us as a company to provide much needed opportunity for local opera practitioners both on and off the stage.’’

Speaking of the collaboration, Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House said: “We are delighted to be working with NI Opera on the first shows in our brand-new programme strand, The Studio Series, which will see the Theatre partner with several local production companies, artists, and performers. There is no better way to experience an intimate night of opera in the relaxed surroundings of The Studio, and both shows perfectly demonstrate the versatility of the award-winning NI Opera.”

Northern Ireland Opera have created ‘Cupid’s Bow’ and ‘The Juniper Tree’ as part of the Grand Opera House’s Studio Series.

Find out more about ‘The Juniper Tree’ here.

Find out more about ‘Cupid’s Bow’ here.